Firm Honored With 2005 Pro Bono Award by The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
July 29, 2005
CHICAGO - Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the recipient of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s 2005 Pro Bono Award, for its outstanding pro bono service to the Chicago legal community, as well as its First Year Public Service Fellowship Program.
This is the second time since 2000 that the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights has recognized the Firm for its pro bono accomplishments. Melvin Katten, one of the Firm’s founding partners, will accept the award on Katten Muchin Rosenman’s behalf at the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee’s 36th Annual Meeting on August 11 at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel in Chicago.
Katten Muchin Rosenman’s First Year Public Fellowship Program, the first such program in the Midwest, affords incoming associates the opportunity to spend the first year of their career practicing with a public interest organization. Gail Kim, a first-year associate in the Litigation Practice, began her career in September 2004, practicing with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee. Since then, she has served as a staff attorney, devoting much of her time to the Fair Housing Project, working on cases that fight housing discrimination.
"We take tremendous pride in our commitment to helping those with the greatest need obtain first-rate representation without charge," said Jonathan K. Baum, partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman and the Firm’s Director of Pro Bono Services. "To have our pro bono efforts recognized in this manner is extremely gratifying and a testament to our dedicated attorneys who so freely give of their own time."
Clyde E. Murphy, executive director of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, noted: "The commitment of firms like Katten Muchin Rosenman is vital to our continued ability to provide those in need with access to our legal system."
The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. is the public interest law consortium of Chicago's leading law firms. From nineteen firms in 1969, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee has grown to 44 member firms today, including the deans of three prominent law schools. Each year, over 15,000 hours of donated professional legal services, with a value of over $3 million are directed to civil rights issues by the Chicago Committee.
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has a long-term commitment to providing the poor, the powerless and the disenfranchised with access to first-rate legal counsel without charge. The Firm’s attorneys and other legal professionals give their time, resources and talent to serve individuals and organizations in need, to engage in important national litigation, and to partner with local legal service providers to ensure access to the justice system.
Its pro bono program is particularly noteworthy for the breadth of services that it offers. These include not only litigation, both on behalf of individuals and groups, in matters of housing and public accommodations discrimination, civil liberties, immigration, criminal defense and prisoners' rights, and consumer matters, but also transactional pro bono work, in such areas as corporate and tax assistance to not-for-profit organizations, intellectual property law, employee benefits, and international trade law.
Katten Muchin Rosenman encourages pro bono service by its attorneys in several ways. Attorneys are surveyed for their pro bono interests and pro bono opportunities targeted to those interests are directed to them. The Firm arranges for the training of interested attorneys in specialized areas of pro bono law, and credit for pro bono work toward billable hour requirements is provided. Each year, the Firm recognizes outstanding pro bono service with the Katten Muchin Rosenman Pro Bono Service Awards. It also provides special hands-on pro bono programs for summer associates and funds service by incoming associates at public interest agencies through the Public Interest Law Initiative Fellowship Program.
Katten Muchin Rosenman’s pro bono program has been honored by the American Bar Association Section of Business Law with its National Public Service Award, as well as by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Chicago, the Lawyers Alliance for New York, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and numerous other groups .
Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP (www.kattenlaw.com) is a national, full-service law firm with offices in the nation's largest centers of business, government, finance and technology. The Firm’s 600 attorneys in more than 50 practice areas provide timely and cost-effective counsel to clients in numerous industries. They serve as advisors and advocates for a wide range of public and private companies - from entrepreneurial, emerging-growth, and middle market firms to global Fortune 100 corporations - as well as government entities, non-profits, and charitable and cultural organizations.